Welcome to the Information Network for Salmon, Agriculture, and Environmental Policy

Farmers and environmentalists need each other.

With a full 50% of the American land base in some form of active, working agriculture, farming and ranching have an inevitable connection with the environment. Sometimes that connection is a positive one. For example, active farmland on large undeveloped parcels is almost always much better for the environment than is a fragmented landscape that becomes intensively developed. There is also much that farmers can do in managing their land to affirmatively contribute publicly valuable environmental services—opportunities that disappear if this land develops. At the same time, poorly managed farms can also cause environmental harms like contributing to pollution, draining wetlands, damaging wildlife habitat, and blocking wildlife migration.

Agriculture is a highly competitive global industry. But the vast majority of our farms are actually small, family businesses that are economically vulnerable. Clearly they need some regulation. But if we are over-aggressive in regulating our farms, we can easily increase their costs and drive them out of business.

This seeming paradox requires that we exercise balance. It demands an approach that turns to regulation, when regulation is clearly needed, but that also makes optimal use of voluntary incentives when they can be fair, practical, and effective.

This website provides access to up-to-date research, written materials, opinion, and other resources to help empower those who are fighting for an agriculture industry that is BOTH economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

Writings & Research

Don provides writings and research on agriculture, salmon, natural resources, and the environment and on the political dimension in which they survive or fail.  These materials are made available here as a resource for those seeking practical ways to preserve the environment while conducting economically viable natural resource enterprises. Explore more writings & research.

Farmers and Environmentalists

Don has completed a new book published by Washington State University Press entitled: Barnyards and Birkenstocks: Why Farmers and Environmentalists Need Each Other. The book describes realistic steps toward a future that includes both prosperous, sustainable agriculture and a flourishing, healthy environment. More about the book.

Services

Don helps governments, community groups, non-profit organizations, and natural resource enterprises find practical policy solutions that work for both the environment and for farm and fishery businesses. More information on services.

Speaking

Presentations of interest to groups involved in environmental and natural resource issues and that seek both the information and the inspiration to create a better future. Find out more.

Consulting

Help for groups and communities struggling to work together in protecting the environment while also strengthening their agriculture, fisheries, and natural resource industries. Find out more.

Lobbying

Professional lobbying and public advocacy. Find out more.